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Standing on The Outside
20 most recent entries

Date:2016-11-14 20:43
Subject:Journal was hacked
Mood: annoyed

Well you leave something alone and somebody decides to set up shop. I changed passwords and deleted the hacker entry, so hopefully things are good to go.

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Date:2015-09-29 06:50
Subject:Stealin' All My Dreams

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Date:2014-05-23 00:51
Subject:You're right, there does seem to be a lot of dead people in my life...

The subject line comes as a recent friend wondered why they keep seeing so many memorial notices on my timeline lately. They thought maybe Facebook was repeat posting. I'm almost used to the fact that most of the people that know me today never knew my son when he was alive. That also means they really only know a small part of me as well of course. The more recent losses came very close together in a kind of mind numbing yet heart crushing barrage. My father and my nephew were terminally ill at the same time. I went to see my dad for his birthday, they both took a turn for the worse. My young nephew died on Wednesday and I left my father to attend the funeral - as he made me promise I would. My father died the day after the funeral. My dear uncle died 6 months later followed by my brother less than 3 months after that. So to round out this month we have my son's birthday, Mother's day, My father's birthday,the anniversary of my nephew's death, the anniversary of my father's death as well as a few other birthdays. This year I got to add my own chemotherapy to the mix.

Losing people you love does not get easier with practice.
Son, father, brother, uncles, nephew, friends, aunt, cousins, father in law - I've had a lot of practice, so I'm pretty confident of this fact.

Each loss is unique in many ways, yet similar in others, and some seem to severe something vital from your soul. And that's about the only wisdom I've gained from all of it (and the decades of working with dying children that came before my own streak of loss). No great revelation or comfort to be found. It's the price we pay for loving someone.

Now you should go back and look at the kitten posts. : ) But before you do, this is my dad, who died of primary liver cancer four years ago. He was a coal miner, an animal lover, and a terrific guy.

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Date:2014-05-21 21:24
Subject:3 week old kittens for your amusement

Yes it's been awhile. I finished chemo yesterday. Yay me! We sheared the alpacas this past weekend and I cooked for an entire week to get ready. Trying to rest and recover now. sffan was here to help with shearing and it was great to see her. She was also checking out the new kittens. Miss Polly - a barn cat that showed up over the winter - turned out to be very pregnant. We brought her in and 5 days later we had 5 kittens.

They are now 3 weeks old and starting to move around on their own. How cute are they? Have a look : )

It's been a long tough winter for so many of us, I thought we could all use a dose of cute. Have a good week, I'll check in later.

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Date:2014-04-27 23:23
Subject:Kittens ahoy!

5 kittens born in 1 hour today. Mama and babies all doing well.

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Date:2014-04-25 17:41
Subject:Still waiting on Miss Polly

Miss Polly has settled in to await the birth of her kittens. I thought it might be Monday night or Tuesday but she settled down and is now displaying the "any day now" type of behaviour.
For those who were not in the loop, Miss Polly is likely from a litter of kittens we found in the barn this summer before a mamma cat moved them. She wandered out of the big barn around mid-February and we sheltered and fed her through the horrid winter. She will deliver then be fixed and the kittens will be adopted out in the fall after they are socialized and old enough etc. That's the plan anyway.

A post about life here is coming, including such high points as chemo, identity theft, baby alpacas, legal wranglings and shearing day. : ) In the mean time check out the cute kitty:



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Date:2014-04-21 22:21
Subject:We have a new kitty

Brought the female very pregnant barn cat in tonight. I think she may be in early labour. You'd think being a human midwife and birthing dozens of alpacas would leave me prepared for this. You'd be wrong. Her resp rate is 112 and she looks like this, then she perks up and cuddles and demands affection.

Going to be an interesting night I think.

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Date:2013-11-08 23:47
Subject:I'm back

There is snow on the ground. The seasons have changed while I was busy dealing with chaos. The important stuff:

Irish's dad (JBD) continues to rally in a very welcome (but medically unexplainable)reprieve from a very acute leukemia. He's doing pretty well and enjoying his time at home. They will start a trial medication next week - since he is doing so well they are re-thinking the original palliative plan since he has outlasted his original prognosis considerably.

Mays, Irish and I continue to get by,and hopefully in the not too distant future we will be making some changes to our location. I'm pretty sure the situation and housing situation is contributing to our various ailments.

The divine Miss M is doing very well at school this year although her condo-mates give her grief.

Rocky my longtime cat companion is in a pattern of fading and looking like he will leave us, then rallying. It's not easy, but he's not in any pain and he seems to be enjoying his good days so much. Playing catch the mouse and chasing with the other cats and blanket monster with us.

I've been quiet because I'm being sued by a former friend and alpaca group member, both as a group member and personally. We had settlement hearings last week. They owe over 9 thousand dollars to us for board/vet fees for 6 animals we co-own that board here. I put a lien on the animals. They are suing me for damages. Also suing the group because they were removed after finding financial shenanigans. One looks like it will settle (they will pay a large portion of what they owe then we will divide up the co-owned animals)the other - who knows.

It's taken an unreasonable amount of time, energy and resources and it's not over yet. So I've been keeping a low profile and keeping things as secure as possible.

On the plus side Grimm is back, Arrow is back and The Black List is great. The farmer's market and show season have kept me very busy and my hand dyed suri lace yarn is the talk of the town. : ) I hae a new line of silk scarves, and even an alpaca boucle blend yarn. One more open house, a four day show in Guelph and a show in Stratford this week will finish the season.

I hope the autumn is treating you kindly.

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Date:2013-08-02 07:49
Subject:Present and accounted for.

I'm sorry for dropping off the map. I've been reading my flist and keeping up with everyone - but it's true I have not been commenting and certainly not posting.

There are many things responsible for that, but I should know better than to let things drain me so much that I don't have any energy for doing what's important - communicating with people I care about.

So, Irish's dad, aka JBD (James Bond Dad because when he was younger he looked like a young Sean Connery - he never lost the cool either) became ill early this summer. Tired, pale etc. Now he certainly has reason for that. He suffers from severe narcolepsy with cataplexy http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcolepsy/DS00345/DSECTION=symptoms and the medication he took for this disorder caused a serious cardiomyopathy with heart failure. So he has had more than his share of issues, but has remained his cool, witty self.

he went in for his regular check up n June and had blood work done. He got a call bck because his white cell count was zero. The rest of his bloodwork was also a mess but with no white count he was a sitting duck for infection. He was admitted to hospital and put into isolation. They thought it was a medication reaction. Then it was a severe pernicious anemia. What it turned out to be was a very aggressive form of leukemia - AML http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultAML/Patient/page1

Because of his heart damage and lung damage he is not a candidate for chemo or transplant. Palliative treatment only.

Irish has been over in Ireland for nearly a month. Mays and I have been doing the farm and juggling things here. 10 days ago JBD went in for a blood transfusion and was admitted with a bad pneumonia and the rest of the family was called home a week ago on the advice of the doctors. He stabilized a bit this week but is still critical.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

Heat wave, pregnant alpacas due later this month, sick cat (Rocky), Miss M took off on a 12 day cruise of Europe (she loved it) and we must now find her a place for Sept in Toronto, Visits from our dear Stellargal and getting fibre made into yarn for a pile of upcoming shows.

Dexter is back and I'm loving it. True Blood is back and I'm mostly loving it. Newsroom is back and I like it. I miss Grimm. I also kind of miss Arrow.

I'm hand painting sockyarn from my suris...it is wonderful and soft.

That's the quick and dirty update and I leave you with this - from yesterday after the rain...
alpaca lake

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Date:2013-05-07 07:48
Subject:Happy Shearing Season!

It's that time of year again. I stepped in as medical support for the first shearing of the season. It was relatively calm because our shearers Fred and Dee are really the best. Since eliminating the shearer from Hell from our group (and our lives hopefully) I no longer have to see or deal with horrific gashes the length of an animals stomach or animals stuck on a shearing table for over an hour while people goof around. A tiny nick that just needed some blue spray and a toenail that was trimmed a little too close and bled was pretty much it. Not that it was a relaxing time. Every second I am prepared for mass chaos. I give the annual shots and check out any skin issues while the animal is on the table. After a long winter in full fleece there are often all kind of skin issues hiding in there. Mites, fungal issues, dry skin, signs of vitamin deficiency - all hidden by a full crop of fibre. So I treat and reassure the animals, and we get them sheared and vaccinated and supplemented etc and off the table in about 20 mins or so. maybe a little longer if we have to trim teeth.

But I travel with enough supplies and equipment to handle everything from a human heart attack to an emergency c-section (alpaca) and I'm on alert until the last animal is safely in his pasture and eating hay.

I will be at our frien Dee's place this weekend for her shearing and then it's the 3 day paca palooza that is our shearing weekend. I am planning the menu this week and trying to lay in all the necessary supplies. Our actual shearing will be Sat May 18 and Monday May 19th - our main shearer has a family thing on Sunday. Anyone willing/able to show up and help out - whether by holding an animal, carrying bags of fibre or just cooling alpacas with a hose is welcome!

As for me, well I am struggling this year. Elliot's birthday - he would have been 27 - and the upcoming anniversary of my dad's death (he died on our shearing weekend 3 years ago) combined with the situation with one of our former alpaca group members has really left me pretty drained. I think I need a few days of nothing to help re-charge. In the last 4-6 weeks we have had a flood that has meant the entire lower level has been ripped out and is under construction. What could be salvaged is now everywhere else in the house - so I am stepping over things. We've had 2 late term abortions of perfectly lovely crias in our herd - that's never happened so we've been busy trying to nail down any potential cause. The car is dying - and trying to figure out how to replace that has been stressful. The previously mentioned former alpaca pals have threatened me,tried to sue our group for removing them, and generally done their best to make life difficult. Trespass letters have been sent. Lawyers involved. But the stupid just never stops. I don't even respond. But it wears on a person. SO yeah...not only is it past time for a vacation, it's past time to move the heck out of here and away from the crazy.

So that's life here, how about where you are?

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Date:2013-04-25 21:43
Subject:Big Surprise

Your results:
You are Beverly Crusher

Beverly Crusher
Deanna Troi
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Will Riker
Mr. Scott
Jean-Luc Picard
Geordi LaForge
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Sulu
A good physician and a caring parent.
You are devoted to your children
and to your occupation.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

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Date:2013-03-27 23:08

I'm going to crash soon, so I'll just summarize the day with the following:

1. If I'm upset or angry with you, you will know it. From me. I will tell you directly and plainly, we will work it out, then I will put it behind me and carry on. When I don't give you all of the head pats and appreciation you feel you deserve for doing your job - chances are it's because I am busy or distracted by other things. If it was about you - you'd know it. Don't carry on like I killed your puppy.

2. I am a busy person. Not too busy for my friends, but for every half hour of my day I have at least 3 things I should be doing. So waiting around for people who show up an hour or two after they were expected so I can be there to answer their questions or help with something can really mess with the plan for my day. That means that I am not there for other people - or creatures - that need me. That just sucks all the way around.

As for the details of the day - let's say they include a stillborn premature cria (from Delilah who was due around the first of August with a Valentino baby), numerous screw ups trying to get a show entry ready for deadline, lost or incorrect tax documents, a fight between Ozzie and Tango, and not enough time to get half of the stuff done that I had planned.

Mays and I are at the market tomorrow then picking up the Divine Miss M for the holiday weekend.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and things will go smooth.

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Date:2013-03-25 20:19
Subject:Daily Update is Daily ...if you live on Venus.

So yes, more time slipped away, and between the mundane but busy cleaning up and getting ready for our month Canadian alpaca Products meeting, and all the pay out calculations I needed to do plus bonus tax time stuff - well, if I couldn't escape the brain numbing stuff, the least I could do is spare you! So, the pink alpaca yarn of doom is on the way to becoming the super secret project for the super secret event. But now they need a matching skein for a pair of fingerless gloves. This is all a part of the super secret event. Fortunately I have a skein of a black and white tweed worsted that will work because the rest of the ensemble is black - except for the item the pink yarn of doom is going into. So this skein has to match up. It's a bit of a challenge since the composition, ply, texture, and twist is different, but I figured I'd give it a try. But before it's time to dye...it was time to check in with the alpacas and bring in a new big bale of hay. So, have a quick peek at Willow and her little guy Darwin, then follow the jump to see more alpacas, and dyeing adventures:
A Good Day To DyeCollapse )

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Date:2013-03-23 07:53
Subject:I think my days are longer

I am really trying to do a daily update, but I'm starting to wonder if my days just last longer than everyone else : ) Seriously, by the time my day got to the point where I could take time to post, it was already tomorrow (today) and perhaps I need a timelord to sort all this timey-wimey stuff out. So I got some sleep and voila...here is the day that was. But for those not following the click you get a bonus pic:sulu

Obviously I have no vanity as I am wearing the latest oversized barn gear, including my now famous "where's Waldo" hat. Which may not be flattering, but is a huge hit with the alpacas. They like nothing more than to grab it and try to pull it off my head, or pull it down over my eyes. When one of them grabs it they take off and play keep away with my hat. Hey, it's winter, they can't run and play outside the way they'd like so they make their own fun.

Anyway, I am halter training wee Shilo (The dark brown black fluffy one on the lead) as well as trying to get her ready for the alpaca show next month. She loves to roll in the hay and the poo pile. Obviously these two things do not go well together. The other crias love to help as I try to de-veg Shilo. My boy Sulu is the golden brown Suri about to give me a kiss in this photo.
Now to read and see more of my adventures in cria training and see how the pink alpaca yarn mess is coming along, follow the click.
Read more...Collapse )

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Date:2013-03-21 21:47

I missed a day. Yesterday I was off the farm, as Mays and I re-vamped the market store and added new product for Spring, took down the heavy hats etc. and generally spruced up the joint. By the time we got back I was wiped out. I barely had the energy to enjoy Arrow. : )
I got a call last night from an alpaca pal who needed 3 skeins of her yarn dyed a certain shade of pink to make something for a super secret event that you will hear about later. But trust me, this has to be good. But I've become the dyeing expert in these parts, and I knew just what colours to mix to get exactly what she was looking for. So here's how that process went - I'll tell you right now, the dyeing was the easy part...Read more...Collapse )

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Date:2013-03-19 19:49
Subject:Day 2- The day before the first day of Spring.

Day two of the howling wind and snow. We also had bonus ice pellets last night which means that anything not buried in snow was coated in ice. I know many of you are also getting hammered by this weather system, some much worse than we are. When the weather gets like this much of my time and energy goes to digging out the alpacas. We had cleared a decent amount of space for them over a week ago using the snow blower, but the recent blowing snow blocked things in again so I was back to digging out. The changing weather has left me with a migraine like headache so aside from digging out tax records and toying with setting up a new page on the Canadian Alpaca site, it's been a pretty low key day. Here's a glimpse of how things went.
Read more...Collapse )

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Date:2013-03-18 22:52
Subject:A week in my life

emungere has challenged me to post daily for a week with details of what each day entails, and who am I to refuse her?
What follows below is a short series of photos including fibre and cute alpacas!

Read moreCollapse )

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Date:2013-03-17 20:24
Subject:Today is a good day to dye...
Mood: tired

I say that an awful lot lately. Which means it must be spring dyeing season. We had an open house yesterday and I spent days just dyeing stuff. 12 skeins of sock yarn, 12 silk scarves, about 8 skeins of baby or lace weight yarn. Sport weight yarn for shawl kits, and also Alpaca Deb needed 6 pounds of nylon dyed Fuchia for pink golf socks so that was fit in last week as well. I was in London for a day doing a very length upper GI series and a series of xrays - and they called Friday to tell me that nasty concussion I had 3 weeks ago (Tango kicked me right between the eyes -  quite unintentionally) was actually a slight skull fracture. That would explain the constant ringing in the ears, black eyes, bruising behind the ears etc. Nothing much to be done about it now, it was non-displaced, so extra care and caution was the order of the day - and the concussion meant I couldn't do much of anything anyway.

SO yeah. Very busy week. Insanely busy. Stressful because of ongoing stupid human drama (still working on eliminating psycho criminals from the alpaca affiliation) and just busy in every other way.

I met some really great people at the open house, and got to work with some lovely colours while preparing for the event, so that's always a good thing.

I updated my alpaca/yarn/fibre blog with photos and details about dyeing the raw fibre - check it out and be rewarded with BONUS pic of Pixel the wunderkitty AND a Klingon! WHat do these 3 things have in common? Follow the link and check it out!

I'd appreciate any signal boost you can give!

Now I'm going to crash for a bit before deciding what colours I'll be dyeing this week. Any requests/suggestions?

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Date:2013-03-02 22:09
Subject:What's Going On...

I am recovering from what the doctor called a "moderate concussion" after getting an alpaca kick right between the eyes. I was picking up the feed dishes outside the boy's shelter while they were inside. Ozzie got into a fracas with Tango and as I was standing up Ozzie chased Tango out towards me and I ended up with an alpaca footprint between the eyes. I have been under orders to do "nothing more strenuous than going to the bathroom" for the first 48 hrs and I've pretty much done that. My head is still sore but nothing like it was Friday. The challenge now is to ramp up my activity gradually without going crazy and overdoing it. The doc advised it could take a couple of weeks to get back up to full speed - I hope not but I'll be watching my step just in case.

February brought a massive dump of snow and it's been rough keeping up with it all. But March is here and there are better days ahead!
I've updated my Canadian Alpaca Products site with a story about shearing a llama from last season. Also a video featuring our main shearer, Fred. If you could check it out and boost the signal I'd be grateful. CAP is our new venture and I'm hoping that the site helps to raise our profile and promote the industry.  have a look and let me know what you think...


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Date:2013-02-21 19:57
Subject:So what have you been up to?

So there's been snow. Also drama with crazy people. And a new baby niece who had a very rough start, but is stable now. I finished a very tough course of chemo for the low grade malignancy that likes to create chaos with my blood cells. I sent Irish to Ireland for Valentine's day. He'll be back next week. I miss Grimm, Dexter, Nurse Jackie and of course - and always - Firefly. I am enjoying Arrow a ridiculous amount considering what it is. I have the new Pantone spring colour palette and a crate of dyes. I see some messy times ahead. : )

I loved the Grammys, they were a great warm up to my favourite musical night of the year - The Junos.  I know most of you (not being Canadians) don't get the Junos - so what did you like about the Grammys? I loved the Lumineers and Jack White.

In the alpaca world, everyone is holding their own. We are already planning spring shearing and making plans for what to do with the fibre.
For some photos of exactly what the alpacas have been up to in this weather...folllow the link:

I'll be curled up with a heating pad...

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